Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Chronor Anniversaire
2017 GPHG Chronograph Category Finalist
Sitting in between futuristic innovation and the vintage inspired, Parmigiani Fleurier's Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is a contemporary and luxurious take on the split second chronograph, and marks the company's twentieth year with a sophisticated and beautifully architected in house movement.
So what do we have?
Almost from the off Parmigiani Fleurier have set the bar high for themselves, yet over a relatively short period of time have established a critically acclaimed reputation as a manufacturer of high end watchmaking. To emphasise their technical capabilities, for their twentieth year they have introduced their most ambitious undertaking yet in the form of their Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, complete with an in-house, integrated, split-second chronograph movement.
With its dark blue dial and rose gold case, it has a particularly stately appearance. On the dial, the chronograph functions are all distinguished by gold hands, and while the rattrapante chronograph needs an additional pusher to activate, in the Tonda Chronor that has been neatly integrated into the winding crown.
It's a complication which is relatively uncommon, and it's also considered to be one of the most challenging to produce, and in rising to tackle features like the vertical clutch (where the horizontal type is less complex) Parmigiani Fleurier have carried it off with commendable style. The beautifully openworked plates and bridges are visible through the sapphire caseback, revealing the unusual sight of two chronograph column wheels and the mechanical internals, and while to me it's not to the same standard of the rival Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymetre's stunning movement, it's still a beautiful piece of work in its own right.
How does it stack up/competition
Doubtless the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire is an important piece, and a technical milestone for Parmigiani Fleurier, but it's up against some formidable competition in this high profile category, and even with Montblanc's 1858 Chronograph Tachymetre winning in 2016 and Piaget's Altiplano Chrono in 2015, suggesting that the jury do like their chronographs traditional, the 2014 winner was De Bethune, with their Maxichrono Tourbillon, and with not one, but two more exotic innovations vying for this award, I think 2017 will not be Parmigiani Fleurier's year in this category.
The Watch Press Prediction
No. While it is a magnificent piece, with a very special movement, I'm sure the award is going elsewhere. Having said that, it would certainly give any of the other more conventional chronographs a run for their money.
CASE: Pink gold
BUCKLE: Pin buckle
MOVEMENT: Manual winding mechanical. Power reserve: 65 h, 36'000 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date, Split-Seconds Chronograph
SIZE: ø 42.1 mm
THICKNESS: 14.6 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 30 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: CHF 135'000